The Office of Information and Communications Technology is responsible for defining strategic direction for ICT to the Secretariat. It provides oversight of ICT programmes, budgets and decision-making to ensure alignment with the Secretariat’s overall ICT strategy. The team consists of more than 300 people operating global data centers and coordinating services provided by more than 4,000 people in UN offices worldwide. The Office is headquartered in New York and sits within the Department of Management.
Their goal is to make the world a better place. They work together to innovate and build solutions across boundaries and organizations. They focus on what brings significant value to the mission of the United Nations.
The Office focuses on strategic, long-term improvements across the Secretariat, through:
- enterprise applications (such as Umoja, inspira, Mail, Self Service, Connections and Docs);
- new technologies and innovation (for example business intelligence, analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain);
- efficient management and development of its global ICT infrastructure (including lease lines and satellite communications);
- strengthening information security;
- project management frameworks;
- ICT governance; and
- establishment of ICT policies, architecture and standards.
A technology strategy for the future UN
ICT staff across the global Secretariat collaborated to develop a modern, responsive ICT strategy for the United Nations.
The ICT strategy (A/69/517) was submitted by the Secretary-General at the 69th session of the General Assembly and Member States endorsed all the elements (A/RES/69/262). It defines the roadmap for ICT for the next five years, recognizes lessons learn and improves upon past performance. It embeds an ongoing transformation and innovation agenda particularly with regard to mainstreaming Umoja, the Enterprise Resource Planning system, and the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
The strategy provides a common vision for ICT delivery in the United Nations through modernization, transformation and innovation. It establishes a framework for improved governance, strong leadership and optimal use of ICT resources to support effective decision-making.
Modernize: support strategic priorities of the Secretariat through advanced technology
Transform: restructure ICT globally to provide enhanced services
Innovate: foster innovative solutions that enable the UN to fulfill its mandates
Optimize: ensure ICT resources support business objectives and bring value for investment
Govern: strengthen governance and technical authority to ensure compliance and accountability
Although the strategy will require that they “do more” on behalf of the Organization, it provides a roadmap for accomplishing their objectives “with less.” They have taken on the mandate from Member States to align ICT with the core work of the UN, strengthen central control and governance, reduce fragmentation, increase collaboration and deliver enterprise-wide solutions.
Where is United Nations Office for Information and Communications Technology (OICT)